I tried installing Pidgin to connect to our jabber server. I had alternating trouble getting Pidgin to authenticate, and when I say alternating, I mean it. With no changes it would login, or it would fail. And when it would log in there would be an empty Pidgin buddy list. So empty that clicking on it registered as the desktop, and not the Pidgin app. Purging and reinstalling didn’t help.
Then I noticed that Empathy (the little envelope on Ubuntu’s system bar) had detected Pidgin was installed and was asking to import my Pidgin settings. I gave it a shot, and was able to log in with zero hassles. Yes, it imported my settings from a non function Pidgin, and Empathy worked.
I’m going to test out Empathy and see if there are any features that it doesn’t have that would warrant figuring out how to get Pidgin (or another client) to work.